The Grickle Grass Festival

grickle

This coming Saturday, May 30 is the 6th annual Grickle Grass Festival at the London Children’s Museum. In partnership with Growing Chefs! Ontario, this event is part fundraiser, part family day of fun! Are you interested in sustainable living, healthy living, art and music? This is your event.

DAYTIME

From 10:00am to 5:00pm the London Children’s Museum will be taken over, both inside and outside, for the festival. It will be a full day celebration of learning, focusing on sustainable living, healthy choices, environmentally friendly food and where it comes from, the importance of fitness, and taking care of the world around them. Bring the whole family for button making, garden planting, dance partying, cooking demos, and so much more!

ADMISSION is the regular Children’s Museum admission of $7 per person, $2 for babies 12-23 months.

EVENING

In the evening, the museum turns into a fully licensed music venue for the adults. Every floor of the museum will be filled with music and art for you to enjoy at your leisure. The evening event is a fundraiser for the daytime programming.

ADMISSION tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For advanced tickets, purchase HERE.

grickle2

 

Getting Ready for School

tvcc

Do you have a child who is a client of TVCC and who is about to enter kindergarten for the first time this fall?

Thames Valley Children’s Centre is hosting an evening session for parents and caregivers of children with special needs who will be starting school in September 2015 (children do not attend). Topics of discussion will include:

  • full day kindergarten
  • preparing for transitions
  • school processes and meetings
  • parent/school relationships
  • curriculum
  • concerns or questions that you have

DATE: Monday, June 1, 2015

TIME: 6:00 to 9:00pm

LOCATION: Thames Valley Children’s Centre, 779 Baseline Road East

COST: Free

PARKING: LHSC Parking rate in Lot V7 is $4/hour

REGISTER: Online

 

 

Shift London – Phase 2

shift2

Last month we told you about Shift London, London’s rapid transit initiative that has been introduced to the city and is going to advance now onto phase two of development. Once again, the City of London is wanting to share information with you and is asking for your input in return. This is going to be a big step for our city, so please consider whether you can attend one of their two Public Information Centres.

WHAT IS SHIFT?

Shift is a bold and important initiative for transportation for london. It focuses on rapid transit as part – along with cars, bikes and pedestrians – of the transportation systems that will help our city grow and prosper.

Shift will define where Rapid Transit will go, what it will look like, and how it will be implemented. (see: source for more information)

PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE

All Londoners are invited to attend one of two Public Information Centres next week to present the preliminary recommended Rapid Transit corridors and feedback that was received so far. The centres are drop-in open houses with information displayed.

Thursday, May 28 at 4:30pm

Western Fair District, Agriplex

RSVP HERE

Saturday, May 30 at 10:00am

Goodwill Centre, 255 Horton Street

RSVP HERE

This Weekend in London

may

Lots of fun things to do outside this weekend! If you’re not gardening or building a fairy house, consider some of these ideas:

SUPERHERO RUN FOR EASTER SEALS KIDS

This Saturday, May 23 Easter Seals Ontario is hosting their second annual Superhero Run for Easter Seals Kids at Camp Woodeden in west London. There will be an 8km partial trail run, a 5km fully accessible run and a 1km family fun run with superhero activities along the way! There will be so much fun with Curiosity Box, the London Children’s Museum, Kids Learn & Play, superheroes, and even real life superheroes from the London Fire Department, Tactical Team and K9 Unit! The fun begins at 10:00am.

KIDS TRI 4 KIDS

Do you have an adventurous 3-13 year old? This Sunday, May 24 is the fifth annual Kids Tri 4 Kids triathlon to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area. Kids will swim, bike, and run in a safe, professionally designed course. The focus is all on fun – not who crosses the finish line first!

MAMMA MIA!

Mamma Mia! is coming to the Budweiser Gardens this Saturday and Sunday for two amazing shows as part of their Broadway series. With the music of ABBA, this energetic and fun performance centres on a wedding, a mother, her daughter, and her three potential fathers. Set in Greece, this hit show will definitely entertain you!

REFOREST LONDON TREE SALE

Doing a little landscaping this weekend? ReForest London is having a tree sale this Saturday, May 23 from 9am until noon at Kiwanis Park (1499 Brydges Street).  Tree sales are organized through the Million Tree Challenge.

LONDON MAJORS BASEBALL

The London Majors have two home games this weekend: Friday, May 22 at 7:35pm against Guelph and Sunday, May 24 at 1:05pm against Burlington. Tickets cost only $6-8 per person, which makes this perfect for a date night or a family outing!

EAST PARK

East Park’s waterpark opens this weekend for the season! With seven water slides featuring a single and a double tube, the original mat slides and two speed slides (the bullet!). There’s also the accessible splash pad for all ages to play on if you need a break from the slides.

Fairy Houses

fairy

Today, I’m passing the website over to my darling oldest daughter who is a professional Fairy House Builder. If you have any children that love fairies, magical creatures, and getting creative, then building a fairy house might just be up their alley.

 

Hello! First I’ll start with how I got creative and into making fairy houses. It all started when my seventh birthday rolled around and my Nana and Grandpa gave me a clay fairy house, a tiny (fairy-sized) fence, metal fairy-sized watering can, bench, and tiny bird (or bug) house. When the temperature warmed up (since my birthday is in late winter), my sister, my Nana and I went to the pond to get some stones, sticks and cement chunks. Bit by bit, I worked on my fairy house when I wanted and could. I even got some fairy plants!

MATERIALS

Fairy houses can be built out of almost anything found in nature. Here are some of my favourite things to use:

  • sticks/twigs
  • stones
  • popsicle sticks
  • dandelion stems
  • leaves
  • grass
  • mulch
  • dirt
  • flowers
  • sand
  • pebbles
  • store-bought houses or fairy furniture
  • pine cones

HOW TO BUILD

  1. Find a good spot in your backyard, not near a lawnmower, hidden from animals that will destroy it [mom says: give your kids a spot in your flower or vegetable garden that you don't mind being dug up over and over. Mark out their space vs. your space and don't cross the magic line. Other spaces could be found in large flower bins or pots, like the ones from Costco, or old sandboxes/water tables that they've outgrown]
  2. Start with a floor made of pine needles or twigs or pebbles or something that you found. You can build around it, make sure you leave space for the door. Use twigs and mud or make a leafy tent. Make it as big as you can.
  3. You can make a straw or grass roof.
  4. Make it fun for the fairies with special features. Some ideas are: a garden, a hammock, a swing set, fire pit [mom says: not a real fire pit! Fairies don't like fire and neither do moms], a pool, a bridge, and any other thing you can think of. Fairies LOVE a little bling don’t they? Shiny stones, shells, or even feathers might really do the trick to getting a curious fairies attention!!

 

 

 

Golfing with the City

golf

Do you like to golf? Does your partner? Golfing is a great way to get active during the warmer months. It’s a great sport to play when you want to hang out and catch up with friends, but also feel like you got a little exercise in when it’s all said and done. With all of the walking, the swinging and the laughing, you’ll be relaxed and ready for a nap when you’re all done ;)

The City of London has three great, affordable golf courses spread out in the west, east and southeast. They have membership options, unlimited (one-time fee and unlimited golf through the season) and regular (membership fee, plus reduced rates for each round all season), as well as non-member options.

WHERE

FANSHAWE GOLF COURSE is located in northeast London, 2835 Sunningdale Road East. This is the first golf course in Canada to be fully accessible and is great for families. They have two 18-hole courses.

RIVER ROAD GOLF COURSE is located in southeast London, 2115 River Road. River Road is known for it’s scenic views and more challenging 18-hole course.

THAMES VALLEY GOLF COURSE is located in west London off of Riverside Drive, 850 Sunninghill Ave. Featuring both an 18-hole and a 9-hole course, the latter is ideal for families and kids just learning how to play.

TEE TIME

First tee time is at 7:00am from Monday through Friday, 6:30am on weekends, beginning this Saturday, May 23.

They are open seven days a week.

Power carts are available and must be reserved in advance. See HERE for more information.

GREEN FEES AND MEMBERSHIPS

Green fees vary based on time of day, course, age, and membership, from $20-42 for guests and $10-21 for members.

For full fee information see HERE.

If you (or your partner or your kid!) play more than 15 rounds of golf per season, getting a membership is an economical choice. For rates and information, see HERE.

Victoria Day

victoria

It’s Victoria Day! In honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday and Canada’s unofficial start of summer, most of us have today off to sit back and enjoy ourselves. If you are in need of something to do, here is what is open and closed today:

CLOSED

There will be no garbage/recycling/yard waste pick up today and no Canada Post delivery

Grocery stores and drug stores (excluding a select few)

All malls

City of London indoor pools

Banks

LCBO and Beer Stores

All public libraries

Government offices

OPEN

Restaurants

Movie Theatres

Many Garden Centres (e.g. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Heeman’s)

Fanshawe Pioneer Village/Fanshawe Conservation Area

Storybook Gardens

London Children’s Museum

Palasad North and South

Boler Mountain Treetop Adventure and Mountain Bike Trails

 

 

Plant a Row, Grow a Row

plantarowgrowarow

Gardeners, green-thumbs, and wannabes, as you are planning and/or planting your summer garden this weekend, consider London’s Plant a Row, Grow a Row Campaign. Founded in 2012 this program encourages you to plant a little bit extra in your garden and to donate that extra produce to the London Food Bank.

DID YOU KNOW?

The London Food Bank is able to easily collect and distribute non-perishables, but low income individuals/families also need the most important part of our diet: fresh fruit and vegetables. While you can imagine the obvious trouble with collecting such items in a drop off bin at a grocery store, they are able to collect and distribute fresh produce when it is brought directly to them.

PLANT A ROW, GROW A ROW

This time of year is the absolute easiest way to contribute to your London Food Bank by making space in your kitchen garden for a bit more produce. Did you grow more zucchini than you can handle? Decide kale is just not your thing? Have more tomatoes than you can can? Rhubarb running wild? Had enough beets for one season? Bring your excess to the London Food Bank! Either make the conscious decision to over-plant or just bring them whatever you don’t want. Pick it at it’s prime and get it to the Food Bank ASAP.

SEEDS

If altruism isn’t motivation enough to get on board with this, Plant a Row, Grow a Row has received a whole lot of seeds to give to you at no cost! Bush beans, pole beans, leaf lettuce, spinach, summer squash, cucumber, kale and beets are available for your garden. Just plant, grow, keep what you want and donate the rest back. See Facebook for more information.

 

 

 

Victoria Day Fireworks

fireworks

This Monday is Victoria Day and one of the two days each year where we are allowed to set off fireworks in the city. If you are interested in staying up to see them, there is only one public show happening. You are allowed to set off your own fireworks if you follow the rules and precautions set out by the London Fire Department.

FANSHAWE OPTIMIST FIREWORKS DISPLAY

WHERE: Fanshawe Conservation Area

WHEN: Monday, May 18 at dusk

WHAT: Approximately 40 minute firework display, weather permitting

ADMISSION: $15 per car

FIREWORKS AT HOME

If you decide to have your own fireworks show at home, the City of London Fire Department recommends the following:

  • Only responsible adults who are aware of the hazards and appropriate care required should handle or discharge fireworks. Never use illegal fireworks. Firecrackers are illegal.
  • Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers away from children.  They can cause severe burns.
  • Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud fireworks.
  • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials such as buildings, trees and dry grass.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a fire or safety hazard.
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.

WHY THE CELEBRATION?

If you or your children are wondering why we are even celebrating this long weekend, read up on Queen Victoria HERE or HERE!

The Three Sisters

3sisters

We are fortunate in London to live in a place so rich in history and to be able to learn about the history first hand! If you have a child around grade three or above, there is a good chance they will know what The Three Sisters are already through their social studies unit on Native Canadians. If they’re lucky, they may have even gone to the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and learnt about the crops and legends of the First Nations people who lived and farmed right here in London and area before the European Settlers came over.

THE LEGEND

The legend of the Three Sisters was passed down from generation to generation to teach about farming. In the story (a version can be found HERE) there are three sisters who are very different, but inseparable. They each have different characteristics that compliment each other. One day, they see a young Native boy and become curious. One by one the sisters disappear in the night as summer turns into fall. At the end of the tale, they are reunited joyfully in the young boys lodge where they help to feed his family.

WHO ARE THE SISTERS?

The Three Sisters are three plants: corn, beans, and squash (traditionally pumpkins). According to legend, the three sisters are inseparable and cannot grow without each other. When planted together the corn acts as a pole for the beans, who in turn strengthen and help support the corn stalks. The squash provides ground cover and acts as mulch to prevent weeds and keep the soil moist.

PLANTING THE THREE SISTERS

If you have space in your yard somewhere, consider planting the three sisters this spring and see what happens! Talk about the history with your children and do a little research into how the three crops would be used by the original residents of London. Start this weekend!

  1. Plant the corn about 4 in a square foot and water frequently.
  2. When the corn is about 6 inches tall, plant the beans between the corn (about 6-7 per square foot)
  3. Plant a squash or two, depending on how much space you have. Squash grows and takes up a lot of space, so give it room!
  4. Water your plants frequently and fertilize as needed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Try some of these links:

http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html

http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/get-activities/signature-projects/the-three-sisters-exploring-an-iroquois-garden/

https://farmtoforkguelph.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/fall-in-ontario-is-time-for-the-three-sisters/

http://www.evergreen.ca/downloads/pdfs/BeanKeepers-ThreeSisters.pdf

http://www.wabano.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CLANconnections-AUGUST-2014-final-2.pdf

http://www.foodshare.net/files/www/Field_to_Table_Schools/Eat_in_Ontario/Gr3-ThreeSisters.pdf